Swift, Apple's New Programming Language, an Exciting Development for JavaScript Engineers

Apple surprised the programming world at the Worldwide Developer Conference by introducing Swift, a programming language made specifically for Mac platforms. Swift hopes to inspire developers to build for the iPhone, iPad, Apple laptops and desktops, and perhaps even Apple TV.

Apple released a unique new programming language, Swift.

Apple released a unique new programming language, Swift.

Marcus Phillips, Hack Reactor CTO, Curriculum Designer and Lead Instructor, was encouraged by the release of Swift:

“We’re very excited for what this could mean to our developers, since Swift takes inspiration from  the simplicity of JavaScript,” Phillips explains. “We use JavaScript as our primary teaching language, and help students branch out into other languages from there, so Swift just makes the bridge to developing for the mobile app market that much shorter, and the lessons that much easier to teach.”

Apple boasts a number of strong claims about Swift’s capabilities, declaring it fast, intuitive and safe.

“Swift is the result of the latest research on programming languages, combined with decades of experience building Apple platforms,” the Swift release page announces.

Apple also notes that Swift “was built to be fast” and “eliminates entire classes of unsafe code.”

Swift is also fully binary compatible with Objective-C, meaning it can be seamlessly integrated with existing Objective-C libraries and frameworks.

What is it like to use Swift? Recent graduate Naman Goel took the language for a spin, comparing it to his home language of JavaScript.

Apple has managed to create a whole new language that borrows heavily from many other languages but eventually is something unlike anything out there,” Goel writes.

Goel finds that Swift is more restrictive than JavaScript, but these constraints tend to steer developers away from errors:

“Swift will make sure that a variable with the type ‘Int’ always has an Integer value. In fact, if there’s even a chance that may not happen, the Xcode will complain at compile time. This way, it can help you avoid a whole set of problems.”

Only time will tell if Swift is a central figure or a side character in coding for Apple products. From the early reviews, it looks like Swift will be worth getting to know for any Software Engineers interested in the Apple platforms.

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